Sitting around the dinner table, surrounded by her family, a seven-year-old girl sat swinging her feet, her legs just long enough so that her toes barely grazed the floor. She listened observantly to the spirited conversation between her parents and six older siblings. Her vibrant blue eyes followed the exchanges back and forth across the table, but she withheld her soft, sweet voice as she absorbed the exclamations and opinions. Without any intention of finishing her plate, she twirled her plain-buttered noodles around her fork. Unexpectedly, she was drawn into the conversation by the question, "What is YOUR favorite quality about yourself?" Now the center of attention, she pursed her lips and squinted her eyes. In a sweet and unassuming tone, she quickly replied with innocent certainty, "My feet!"
This little girl is my sweet, joyful, and innocent eight-year-old sister, Grace.
Grace | proper noun /grās/
: a sweet and joyful little girl absolutely adored by all who know her; just as beautiful on the inside as on the outside
grace | noun /grās/
: a way of moving that is smooth and attractive and that is not stiff or awkward
: a controlled, polite, and pleasant way of behaving
grace | noun /grās/
: God's gift of salvation, granted to all sinners, which was purchased for us through Jesus Christ's death on the cross
I have watched Grace grow up over the past eight years, acutely aware that she has also been observing me. Grace has witnessed my other two sisters and me navigate those tricky teen and early adulthood years. What we say, do, or wear influences her in ways we may never fully realize.
When I look around and see what she is facing—a world obsessed with instant gratification, sex, warped body images, and a culture constantly attempting to convince her that she is unworthy—I hope to encourage her to live against the grain.
I hope my sister grows up without thinking her arms are too big or her chest is too small. I hope she appreciates her able body and realizes her so-called imperfections only contribute to her beauty. I hope while she enjoys fashion and beauty, she knows the most attractive thing she can wear is her sweet smile. I hope she maintains confidence and independence, yet feels just as proud to be a loving wife and mother as a successful working woman. I hope she finds joy in hospitality and in sharing her kitchen with others. I hope she pursues a relationship with a man who recognizes her immeasurable worth, and treats her accordingly. I hope she prepares for her marriage more than she prepares for her wedding (but enjoys that too!). I hope she embraces her authentic femininity and the unique design of the female body. I hope she maintains her faith in Christ despite the inevitable hardships of life. Through it all, I hope she knows there are girls like her, struggling with the same issues and trying to maintain the same values. She is not living against the grain alone.
I have the same hopes for Grace that you may have for your own daughter, sister, wife, friend, or yourself: to be confident, successful, joyful, respected, and to know that she is loved. Therefore, I write to all of you and the beloved young women and girls in your life. My mission is to promote elegance, class, virtue, faith, confidence, purity, and grace—values that are often abandoned in today’s world. A journal for women and girls of all ages and walks of life, it is my hope that my words serve as comfort and inspiration, especially for those in need of confidence or community. Every post in this journal is written as a love letter to Grace, intended to promote all types of grace and with my Grace in mind.
Wherever your journey may lead, I hope it is enhanced with a little grace.